One of the joys of Spring is the appearance of the first fritillaries. The checker-board or snake’s head fritillary: Fritillaria meleagris is the first to come out in my garden. This is a native flower but with the loss of 97% of our wild flower meadows many sites have been lost where these gorgeous flowers once flourished. Fox Meadow, near Framsden, Suffolk is the fourth largest Fritillary meadow in the country. Here you can see up to 300,000 flowers; a wonderful sight. It is in the care of Suffolk Wildlife Trust. You can make an appointment to go to their Open Day in April this year. The telephone number is; 01473 890089.
Pauline at leadupthegardenpath has them growing in her woodland and she has written about them in a recent post. Do have a look, there are some fabulous photos.
Fritillaria verticillata is out now too and is a particular favourite of mine. It does not seed around obligingly as Fritillaria meleagris does but it is very elegant.
The little Fritillaria uva vulpis is as cheap as chips to buy and always very reliable, coming up year after year.
I must not forget the Crown Imperials: Fritillaria imperialis which are lovely even if they do smell of foxes.
I will finish with the dear little Fritillaria michailovskyi which I cannot keep in the garden. I grow it in the greenhouse then bring it into the house when it is in flower.
Fritillaries are caviarto the dreaded lily beetle so a daily patrol is necessary now to squash the horrid things.
I would love to see which fritillaries other bloggers are growing.